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New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services v. E.H.

July 20, 2009

NEW JERSEY DIVISION OF YOUTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT,
v.
E.H., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
IN THE MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF Z.M.H. AND T.A.J.H., MINORS.



On appeal from Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Family Part, Essex County, No. FG-07-84-08.

Per curiam.

RECORD IMPOUNDED

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Decided June 18, 2009

Submitted May 19, 2009

Reconsideration granted July 14, 2009.

Argued telephonically July 14, 2009

Before Judges Wefing and LeWinn.

E.H. appeals a trial court judgment terminating her parental rights to two of her children, Z.H. and T.H. After reviewing the record in light of the contentions advanced on appeal, we affirm.

Z.H. was born on December 28, 2003, T.H. on October 29, 2005. The New Jersey Division of Youth and Family Services ("DYFS") removed the children from E.H.'s care on October 20, 2006, when Z.H. was not quite three years old and T.H. just one year old. E.H. herself was eighteen years old; she was twenty years of age at trial.

The removal was prompted by a report to DYFS that E.H. had been involved in a street fight at approximately one o'clock in the morning in the presence of T.H. DYFS learned that E.H. was homeless and jobless and that T.H. had an untreated burn on her heel. E.H. was pregnant at the time with her third child and she told the DYFS caseworker that she had been fighting with the new girlfriend of the father of her unborn child.*fn1 T.H. was placed with her paternal grandmother, V.A., where she remains. Z.H. was placed with her maternal grandmother, B.H., with whom E.H. was herself living at the time.

Following this removal, DYFS provided a variety of services to E.H., including parenting classes, anger management classes, counseling and drug abuse evaluations. DYFS also referred E.H. to the appropriate welfare office for assistance in locating housing. By the time this matter was tried, in June 2008, E.H. still did not have a permanent residence, but was staying at the apartment of a cousin. Nor had she completed the parenting or anger management classes.

DYFS also arranged to have Dr. Mark Singer perform a psychological evaluation of E.H. and a bonding evaluation of E.H. and the two children. Dr. Singer saw E.H. on two occasions, on December 12, 2006, and on March 14, 2008. Following his initial evaluation, Dr. Singer's recommendations included that E.H. participate in individual psychotherapy, parenting skills training and anger management. She had not complied with these recommendations by the time of the second evaluation.

In his report prepared following the second evaluation, Dr. Singer noted that he had asked E.H. if she knew why she was there. She responded that she did not want to be there and considered it "bull." E.H. completed several tests for Dr. Singer, including the Million Clinical Multiaxial Inventory -III. Dr. Singer stated in his report that her test results suggest that she has a personality style consistent with Narcissistic Personality Disorder with schizoid and self-defeating features. Such a personality style would characteristically be found in an individual who has significant difficulty acknowledging and responding to the needs of others, who has ...


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